The City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) has approved the application for rezoning and building work in a Heritage Protection Overlay Zone in De Waterkant.
Submitted in April last year, the application is for addition to The Grey Hotel and for the properties it is on to be rezoned from General Residential (GR2) to General Business (GB2).
The existing buildings on each of the three properties have been altered and added to at some point to be interconnected and were converted from dwelling houses into a 13-bedroom hotel, two restaurants, a piano bar, a sky bar on the roof top and several shops at street level along Jarvis Street. The additions were done without City’s approval and the developer paid a penalty fee of R45 000.
A previous planning application for consolidation, rezoning, departures and City’s approval to regularise the existing hotel, was submitted to the City in 2017 and 52 objections from residents were received before it was withdrawn in 2019.
The applicant, Group One Investment Proprietary Limited, said De Waterkant is characterised by mixed-use development, which include places of entertainment, residential use, offices, commercial and the proposed residential use and entertainment use will integrate and contribute positively to the area.
They plan to regularise the existing hotel, bar, offices and restaurants and to allow for ground floor shops and additions to the hotel accommodation.
Residents objected to the application stating that the proposed development would be intrusive and incompatible with the character of the area.
A resident, Virginia Campello stated: “The detrimental effect of the wish to extend and intensify business use are indesirable and threaten the character of this residential area and the quality of living for us owners/residents in the area.”
Another resident, Andrea Lampe stated: “There is legitimate concern and extensive objection to this application among De Waterkant property owners and by the De Waterkant Civic Association. The City of Cape Town should shield residential heritage properties and the De Waterkant area from further disruptive commercial exploitation.”
The applicant argued that the aim is to incorporate the old heritage architecture with the new modern architecture and feel of the area.
The MPT recommended that the application for rezoning, approval to permit building work and land use change in a HPOZ be approved and the departure to permit the swimming pool refused.
Among the conditions, they stated that the roof of Erf 439 shall be non-trafficable and not accessible to patrons of the hotel, restaurants or bars operating on the property and any live music played on the property shall be played within the building and such music may not be played earlier than 11am or later than 10pm on any given day of the week.